Skip to main content

Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

See other formats


xvii                             GALAGO AND  CH1ROGAJLM                           543
different in the two districts. In Madagascar we have Opolemur,
Microcebus, and Chirogale; on the continent, Gal ago. The
members of this sub-family have markedly large ears, which are
bat little furry; the tail is long. A very marked skeletal
character distinguishes this sub-family from other Heniuridae,
and allies them, to Tarsius, that is the lengthening of the
caleaneum and naviculare in the ankle. The dental formula is
as in Lemur. The supporting bands of the caecum are in this
sub-family as in the genus Z,emur. There are but two folds, of
which one is median and non -vascular; the lateral fold bears a
blood-vessel, and is joined by the median frenum. The brain is
but little known. The only figure of the brain of Galago is one
by myself. There are four mammae, two on the breast and two
upon the abdomen.
The genus Galago comprises at any rate six distinct species.
They are all African, and range right across the continent from
Abyssinia as far south as Natal, and to Senegambia in the west.
The incisors of the upper jaw are small and equal; there is a
gap between the canine and the first premolar. The molars and
the last premolar have four cusps ; the last molar of the lower
jaw has an additional fifth cusp as in Macacus, etc. The Galagos
are chiefly nocturnal, and are more or less omnivorous. Owing
to their long hind-legs these animals when they leave the trees
advance upon the ground by hops like a Kangaroo. Galago
senegalensis makes a nest in the fork of two branches, where it
sleeps during the day. The Great Galago (&. crassicaudat'us} is
named by the Portuguese " Hat of the Cocoa-nut Palm." Sir
John Kirk, after whom a variety of this species is called, relates
that it is incapable of resisting the fascinations of palm wine,
upon which it will readily intoxicate itself, and as a consequence
brave probable captivity. I have referred above (p. 536) to the
patch of spines upon the tarsus of 6r, garnetti.
The genus Chirogale is entirely confined to Madagascar. It is
to be distinguished from Galago by the fact that the inner incisors
are larger than the outer. There are five species of the genus
known: four previously to Dr. Forsyth Major's recent visit to
Madagascar, and a fifth brought back by him,1 In connexion
with this genus the naturalist just mentioned has observed
that all the Lemurs of Madagascar, including the aberrant
-1 See JSTovitates Zoological, vol. I. 1894, p. 2.